Sam Dekker made his first career start a memorable one.
Dekker, subbing for the ill Ryan Anderson, scored a career-high 30 points, James Harden added 29 points and 10 assists and the Houston Rockets leaned on their usual 3-point offense to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 119-95 on Saturday night.
Dekker, in his second year out of Wisconsin, said he didn't prepare for the game any differently knowing he would be on the court for the tip. And the opening showed there wasn't any nervousness.
Dekker connected on his first five shots before finishing the night 12 of 19, including 6 of 11 from outside the arc.
Malik Monk scored 27 points, Bam Adebayo added 18 and No. 5 Kentucky overcame an ankle injury to starting guard De'Aaron Fox to beat No. 24 South Carolina 85-69 on Saturday and take over first place in the Southeastern Conference.
The showdown of the SEC's lone unbeaten teams in league play featured a subplot of injuries to key players on both squads. Fox, Kentucky's No. 2 scorer, turned his right ankle midway through the first half; he returned early in the second on crutches with his foot in a soft cast. His injury followed the pregame scratch of Gamecocks guard and No. 2 scorer P.J. Dozier with back spasms.
The Wildcats (17-2, 7-0 SEC) regrouped without Fox and earned the hard-fought victory thanks to Monk, who made 9 of 14 from the field and 5 of 6 free throws after struggling against Mississippi State. Adebayo added a series of dunks and Derek Willis added 12 points and 7 rebounds as Kentucky won its seventh straight.
Sindarius Thornwell scored a career-high 34 points and Temarcus Blanton 12 for South Carolina (15-4, 5-1 SEC), which had won five straight.
Jon Elmore scored 27 points, Stevie Browning added 23 as Marshall matched a program-best with 19 3-pointers and beat Western Kentucky 94-80 on Saturday night.
Elmore was 7 of 12 and Browning hit 4 of 7 from 3-point range, and the Thundering Herd finished 19-of-41 shooting from long range. Austin Loop had 17 points and made five 3s for Marshall. Ryan Taylor grabbed 10 rebounds and chipped in eight points.
Marshall (12-8, 5-2 Conference USA) snapped a two-game skid and improves to 11-0 at home dating back to last season, its longest home winning streak under coach Dan D'Antoni.
Justin Johnson scored 21 points and led six players in double figures for Western Kentucky (9-11, 3-4).
Marshall made six straight 3-pointers during a 19-5 run and led 67-53 with about 12 minutes left and cruised from there.
The Thundering Herd made 19 3s against Morehead State in Dec. 1996. Cincinnati holds the conference record, making 24 3-pointers against Oakland in Dec. 1998.
Josh Robinson and John Murry scored 22 points apiece, Jared Savage and Kenny Jones each had a double-double and Austin Peay beat Murray State 84-81 in overtime on Saturday night to snap the Racers' three-game win streak.
Savage finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high six steals, while Jones scored 11 and grabbed 11 boards for Austin Peay (7-14, 3-4 Ohio Valley Conference).
Jones converted a 3-point play before Chris Porter-Bunton made two free throws to make it 75-70 with 4:11 left in overtime and the Governors never again trailed. Jonathan Stark's 3-point play 58 seconds later made it 75-all, but Austin Peay scored nine of the next 12 — including a tightly-contested, pull-up 3 by Robinson — to pull away.
Stark scored 27 and Bryce Jones added 18 for Murray State (11-10, 5-2). Terrell Miller Jr. had 16 points and 12 rebounds — his fourth double-double in the last five games.
Murry's turn-around jumper from the right elbow with 20 seconds left in regulation put Austin Peay up 70-68. After Murray State missed a 3, Kenny Jones missed the front end of a one-and-one for the Governors and Stark sliced through the defense for a layup with 0.9 seconds left to force overtime.
Jordan Ashton scored 14 points, including a pair of free throw with 15 seconds left, and Northern Iowa overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to beat Southern Illinois 58-57 on Saturday night.
Ashton scored 10 of his 14 in the second half for Northern Iowa (8-11, 3-5 Missouri Valley) and was perfect from the field (3 of 3), the arc (2 of 2) and the free-throw line (2 of 2) in the final 20 minutes.
Trailing 54-42 with 8:23 remaining, the Panthers outscored Southern Illinois 12-1 over the next seven minutes to close it to 55-54. A dunk by Thik Bol with 1:21 left to play put the Salukis in front by three, 57-54, but a layup from Klint Carlson and Ashton's free throws gave Northern Iowa a 58-57 lead with 15 seconds left.
Northern Iowa led 27-26 at halftime, but the Salukis used an 11-2 run to take a 36-29 lead with 16:50 remaining and eventually pushed the lead to lead to 12.
Armon Fletcher had 16 points and six rebounds for Southern Illinois (11-10, 4-4).